Evan’s Remains is a neat little game, it’s only a few hours long, but I enjoyed my time with it. A good and fun mystery to unravel with some nice emotional moments and some puzzles to solve. As good a recipe as any, I think. The release date is a ways off at June 11th, and there’s no set price yet. Even though I think this game comes short of being something special, if you like puzzle platformers, this is worth putting in your collection.
Still, I do think the DLC is well worth it if you like Dead Cells. It’s more of a good game, and I’d argue that it’s some of the better content, at least as far as the early game goes. The weapons are all really fun too. It’s $5, and even though you can technically see all of the content within 20 minutes, this is a rogue-like. You’re gonna be replaying it quite a lot, and on a larger timescale, which adds quite a lot of variety. The base game is $25, and while that might seem somewhat steep for what the game is, I’ve put over a hundred hours into the game, so it’s well worth it.
Despite some qualms here and there, I overall enjoyed my time with Banner of the Maid. It’s not exactly the best in its genre, but it manages to carve out its own niche. Its a rather unexplored time period in video games. Most RPGs and SRPGs tend to just go for a medieval fantasy setting, or sci-fi setting, so something like this manages to stand out. It’s $17 on Steam, which is a very fair price for this. I could recommend this if you’re wanting a SRPG and can forgive a rough localization.
Black Future ’88 surprised me quite a bit. It’s a very rewarding and addicting game, and you’ll catch yourself saying “just one more run” every time you die. Its short length and fast pace makes it very conducive to replaying, and unlike some rogue-likes, it’s fun to play pretty much immediately. Even in a genre where a game like Dead Cells stands tall, this can certainly stand on its own merits. If you like rogue-likes and platforming action games even a little bit, this is an easy recommendation. It’s $20 on Steam and the Nintendo Switch eShop, and even though a successful run lasts 18 minutes or less, you can easily sink 10+ hours into it.
Bug Fables starts out as a totally fine homage to Paper Mario, but as you play the game you realize that the game has a lot to offer. If you really want something in that sort of ballpark, this game is definitely worth your time. If you don’t like Paper Mario specifically, then its a bit harder to recommend. It’s currently $20 on Steam, and beating it will likely take around 30-35 hours, and if you’re a completionist, it can easily get over 40 hours. I think it’s a little too long for its own good, but still worthwhile.
Evaluating this game is pretty tricky. I certainly had fun with what I played. As far as being a versus mode of a much larger game, its a neat little novelty that some folks might play around with for a couple hours. As its own game? Hard to recommend, unless you maybe have a friend group of passionate Shovel Knight fans. Though in that case, I’d assume they would have Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove already, and thus this is just a free update. It’s $10 on its own, which certainly is a fair price. However, I’d say Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove at $40 is a better deal. With that you get Shovel Knight and three additional full campaigns, as well as Showdown. At that price, you’re basically getting Showdown as a free bonus.
I can certainly still recommend the game, but mainly only for those with nostalgia for those old monster collecting games. If you don’t like them, this won’t change your mind. If you do, it might be worth checking out, if you feel like you can get past the weird leveling quirk. It might not blow you away, and it might make you just want to play those old games instead, but its got its own twists that you might end up really liking it. It’s $15 on Steam, and should take at least 20 hours to play through it, and I’d say its worth it.
Overall I don’t think it’s one of the best rogue-likes I’ve played, but I think it stands above your garden variety rogue-like. Its gimmick makes playing through the game really fast, yet it still demands careful planning. For just $8 on Steam and the Switch, it’s not a bad deal at all if you’re looking for something on a very low budget. It’ll probably last you 10-20 hours or so, depending on just how good you are at playing cautiously.
I am glad Metal Wolf Chaos has a modern release. I just wish it didn’t have the problems it does. I’d also argue that it’s perhaps best remembered from a distance. While the cutscenes and dialogue have a wonderful charm about them, the gameplay itself is not nearly as remarkable. The game is currently $25, and it’ll last you at least 10 hours, or more if you like it enough to try to get high scores. With the visual aspect of this game just not being up to par with the original, if you have the means to play the original, or own it already, I can’t see this remaster being a compelling purchase. For anyone that’s just curious, or wants to experience more of From Software’s library, I’d at least recommend trying to pick it up when it’s on sale and going in with tempered expectations.
Buying these games individually might’ve been a hard sell for some due to the almost non-existent story and generally very low run-time. The whole collection is a great value, though. For $20, you get three amazing platformers, and 20 hours worth of playtime, minimum.